Canonical has announced the release of Ubuntu 21.10 Impish Indri with plenty of big changes namely the Linux 5.13 kernel and GNOME 40. This update also fixes a really annoying Firefox issue, in previous Ubuntu releases it took days for Firefox to receive the latest updates but now the browser is packaged as a snap managed directly by Mozilla and Canonical so it’ll be updated quickly.
The new Linux 5.13 kernel introduces support for more hardware. Notable in this update is support for newer Intel and AMD chips such as Intel Alder Lake S or AMD Aldebaran, support for Microsoft Surface devices has been improved and rudimentary support for Apple M1 is available. If you had hardware issues with Ubuntu in the past, trying Ubuntu 21.10 may see your issue resolved.
The next big change is GNOME 40. There was some disappointment in April when Canonical decided to stick to GNOME 3.38 for its Ubuntu 21.04 release but now the company has had time to make its alterations so it has included it in this Ubuntu release. Notably, the Activities Overview moves to a horizontal design (the Ubuntu sidebar stays vertical) which should improve workflow. The Ubuntu sidebar now splits running apps from pinned apps using a divider and the recycle bin is available on the bar too.
This release updates LibreOffice to version 7.2.1, Thunderbird is updated to 91.1.2, and Firefox is on version 93. The Firefox package now comes as a snap, although the deb package will remain in the archives, which means that it will receive updates more quickly than before which should see your online security receive a bit of a boost.
Ubuntu 21.10 is not a major Long Term Support release so it will only receive updates until next July. Canonical recommends that you stick with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS if you need Long Term Support. You can download Ubuntu 21.10 from the Ubuntu Releases website.
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